Apple introduced the Power Macintosh 4400/200 in the United States on February 17, 1997. The Power Macintosh 4400 series was primarily marketed to businesses as a low cost, yet powerful computer. The 4400/200 originally cost $1749 US. We acquired our Power Macintosh 4400/200 in 2007 for $30.

1997 "Small Business Task Force" Ad

The 4400/200 is an upgrade of the 4400/160 released in November 1996. Both models stayed in production until October 1997. The 4400/160 was sold only in Europe. The Power Macintosh 4400/200 was sold worldwide. Apple renamed it 7220/200 for release in Australia. The 4400/200 and 7220/200 had the same features as the Power Macintosh 4400/160, with these exceptions: communications slot II on the PCI adapter card, two PCI card slots on the PCI adapter card, 200 MHz processor clock, maximum memory expansion of 160 MB as opposed to 96 MB.

The Power Macintosh 4400 combines Macintosh performance and ease of use with a streamlined, cost-effective design and outstanding compatibility with the PC world at the time of its release. The 4400/200 uses the RISC-based PowerPC 603e processor running at 200 MHz.

Like most inexpensive Windows clones of the time, the 4400 enclosure is made out of an inexpensive sharp edged metal case. The case is painted platinum to match the plastic faceplate. The faceplate is made out of the standard Apple ABS plastic used at the time. The 4400 series is unique because it is the first Macintosh to use primarily industry-standard parts to keep the price low.

Power Macintosh 4400/200 with metal case cover removed

The 4400/200 originally shipped with Mac OS 7.5.3 even though 7.5.5 was available at the time because 7.5.5 won't run on it. Beginning in April 1997, Apple shipped the 4400/200 with Mac OS 7.6. Buyers of 4400/200 that shipped with 7.5.3 were provided a coupon to upgrade to Mac OS 7.6 for $24. The original version of Mac OS 7.6 available to consumers in late January 1997 would not run on the 4400/200, an unfortunately side effect of Apple's three year OS-release strategy in effect at that time. The 4400/200 will support Mac OS 8 and 9. Our 4400/200 is still running the original Mac OS 7.5.3.

Desktop images taken from Power Macintosh 4400/200:

"About This Macintosh" showing system software and RAM

Click to view screen capture 1 - (About This Macintosh)

Click to view screen capture 2 - (Desktop)

Click to view screen capture 3 - (Desktop)

Click to view screen capture 4 - (Desktop)

Click to view screen capture 5 - (Monitors & Sound Control Panel)

Click to view screen capture 6 - (Extension Manager)

Click to view screen capture 7 - (Speech Control Panel)

The 4400/200 has three expansion slots: one full-length 12-inch PCI slot, one 7-inch PCI slot, and one Comm-II slot. PCI expansion cards along with one Comm-II card are mounted horizontally in an adapter card. The card will support either two 7-inch PCI cards or one 7-inch PCI card and one 12-inch (15-watt) PCI card. It will not support two 12-inch PCI cards. Install only expansion cards that come with Macintosh drivers and are compliant with the PCI 2.0 standard. NuBus cards cannot be used in these expansion slots. Apple offered an optional 256K Level 2 cache DIMM on the 4400/160, which was installed as standard on the 4400/200.

Power Macintosh 4400/200 ports

The 4400/200 has the following ports: one ADB port, one DB-15 monitor port, one DB-25 SCSI port, two serial DIN-8 RS-422 ports (one for printer and one for modem), a microphone jack, and a speaker jack. The 4400/200 shipped with a standard 10baseT Ethernet card with RJ-45 connector installed in the Comm slot on the riser card. Seven external SCSI devices may be daisy-chained through the external SCSI port.

The logic board has a 120-pin video DIMM connector that allows the use of EDO RAM.

The video controller supports the following for video memory:

  • 1 or 2 MB of EDO RAM
  • 1, 2, or 4 MB of SGRAM

The 15-pin SVGA compatible monitor port supports color and grayscale monitors of various sizes and resolutions. Depending on the amount of video RAM installed, the built-in video supports up to 800 x 600 pixel resolution at 16 bits per pixel and up to 1152 x 870 at 8 bits per pixel. The 4400/200 has built-in 2D graphics acceleration.

The 4400 can connect to these Apple monitors:

  • Apple High Resolution RGB Monitor (13")
  • Macintosh Color Display (14")
  • Apple Basic Color Monitor (14")
  • Apple Color Plus 14" Display
  • Apple Multiple Scan 14 or Apple Multiple Scan 15 Displays
  • Apple 16" Display
  • Apple Multiple Scan 17 Display or Apple Multiple Scan 1705 Display
  • AppleVision 1710 Display
  • Apple 19" RGB Display
  • Apple Multiple Scan 20 Display
  • Apple 21" Color (two-page display)

Our 4400/400 is pictured using an Apple Multiple Scan 15 inch display. At 832 x 624, it is capable of producing thousands of colors. This 24-bit color is possible at this resolution because 4 MB of SGRAM is installed on the motherboard.

The 4400/200 supports 16-bit stereo audio input and output (stereo in, stereo record, stereo out) up to 44.1 KHz sampling rate. The 4400/200 has one 3.5-mm sound output port for line-level devices such as powered loudspeakers and one 3.5-mm sound input port for stereo sound input. The sound input port supports the Apple PlainTalk Microphone. In addition, the sound input port supports a standard stereo (miniplug-to-RCA) cable adapter for connecting stereo equipment to the computer. The port does not support the Apple Omni microphone (the round microphone shipped with some earlier models of Macintosh) or the attenuated RCA adapter provided with some models of Macintosh.

The 4400/200 shipped with 16 MB of RAM standard. Our 4400 has 32 MB installed. The 4400/200 can address a maximum of 160 MB in three slots using dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) that are 64-bit wide, 168-pin unbuffered 3.3 V EDO, with 60 ns RAM access time or faster, 1K or 2K refresh rate. A fully populated 4400/200 would have one 32 MB DIMM and two 64 MB DIMMs.

All 4400/200s shipped with an internal CD-ROM drive and a 1.4 MB floppy disk drive. The 4400 is somewhat odd in that its floppy disk drive is placed to the left side of the CD-ROM drive, unlike all other Macs. The internal CD-ROM is an 8x-speed ATAPI device. The CD-ROM drive uses the advanced technology adapter peripheral interface (ATAPI), not SCSI.

Power Macintosh 4400/200 CD-ROM drive

The 4400/200 shipped with a 2.0 GB internal ATA hard drive. Our 4400 still has its original 2.0 GB hard drive. The internal hard drive uses intelligent device electronics (IDE) technology, commonly used in DOS-compatible systems of the day. The IDE drive uses the standard advanced technology attachment (ATA) or IDE interface. The IDE hard drive functions the same as a typical SCSI hard drive but it does not affect SCSI ID selections or SCSI termination schemes. The ATA and ATAPI interface schemes could be incompatible with some disk utility programs.

Beginning in April 1997, Apple sold a version of the 4400/200 that features a card containing a Cyrix PR166 6x86 processor, running at 166 MHz, called the Power Macintosh 4400/200 PC Compatible for $2,400 US. The 4400/200 PC Compatible can operate in Mac OS (up to OS 9), MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, or Windows 95 and is able to instantly switch between environments. The PC card supports Sound Blaster 16 stereo sound output for PC multimedia compatibility. The card also contains 16 MB RAM. The 12-inch PCI slot is sacrificed to hold the PC card. The 4400/200 PC Compatible uses a 12x-speed CD-ROM drive instead of the 8x-speed CD-ROM drive on the plain 4400/200.

It is often said that the Power Macintosh 4400 series was one of the worst Macs ever produced by Apple. We think this is a bit harsh. To begin with, the $1749 price was outstanding and consideration must be given to the fact that the 4400/200 was one of the most affordable Power Macs to date in 1997. The case does lack refinement, but we don't consider it a hideous computer. We particularly targeted acquiring this curious Mac because it is definitely an oddity in the Mac world, but overall, it was a more than adequate computer to own in 1997.

We have read and heard complaints about the quality of the internal speaker and the loudness of the internal fan. We own many Macs of this vintage and older, and on all internal speaker quality is about the same, tinny, weak, and ultimately, run-of-the mill. The 4400/200 is not really any worse than any other 1997 Power Mac in the internal speaker department. The 4400/200 is definitely not a quiet computer, but all Macs back then tended to hum quite a bit due to a combination of the internal fan and hard drive. In our opinion, the 4400/200 fan noise sounds about like most other inexpensive desktop computers of the time.

There is a persistent rumor that the 4400/200 will not boot with a dead PRAM battery. We didn't test it, but that is something to check if you happen to have a 4400/200 that won't turn on. Since this really doesn't happen more than once every seven years or so, we can't consider this a mark against the 4400/200.

At the time of its release, the biggest complaint consumers and pundits had for the 4400/200 was its use of a PCI riser card instead of actual PCI slots and the fact that the card would not support more than one 12-inch PCI card at a time. This did more to limit the type of buyer potentially interested in purchasing the 4400/200 than its pedestrian case design or noisy internal fan.

The real problem with the 4400/200 was not with the computer itself, but with Apple's entire market strategy in the mid 1990s. Apple spent a considerable amount of resources trying to sell directly to businesses even though Windows clones held more than 90% of that market. To make matters worse, Apple was hemorrhaging money to an ill conceived licensing scheme that made low cost solutions like the 4400/200 unattractive when compared to really low cost, yet powerful Macintosh clones. In the end, the return of Steve Jobs did more to kill products like the 4400/200 than any other factor. In late 1997, Apple began to trim the fat out of its product line including the 4400/200, which had only been in production for less than one year. Apple deemphasized business applications for the Macintosh platform and began to push the digital lifestyle for home users and the Mac's graphics capabilities for graphics professionals. The 4400/200 simply did not fit into that strategy.

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